The Widening Access team at the University of Strathclyde, recent winners of the Diversity through Education Award at the Herald and GenAnalytics National Diversity Awards 2019 for their work with refugees and people seeking asylum, hosted the 2nd Scottish Universities of Sanctuary Get-Together in Glasgow on the 28th of October.
29 participants from universities, Third Sector organisations and refugee-led organisations met to talk about our work in improving refugees’ access to Higher Education in Scotland, share good practice, and explore ways to work together as a networked sector.
We had input from two speakers:
• Nick Gill of the University of Exeter, who initiated the Universities of Sanctuary stream of work in 2017, and sits on the steering group today. Nick spoke about the motivation behind the Universities of Sanctuary initiative – encouraging universities to think like a network and a movement in improving refugees’ access to and experience of higher education. He also offered advice sessions to colleagues who are in the process of engaging with Universities of Sanctuary network and award, as well as encouraging universities to sign the Global Compact for Refugees Pledge to improve access to higher education.
• Ian MacLellan, Student Support and Wellbeing Manager at the University of Strathclyde, joined us to inform the group of the actions of the education and language subgroup (of which he is co-chair) of the Scottish Government’s New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy.
We will be sharing notes from the meeting soon, and already looking forward to the 3rd Get-Together to be hosted by the University of Dundee on the 16th of March 2020.